A first cold winter "frost" of any year can't set in without now thinkin' of a young cowboy who lost his life while "Takin' Care Of Business" in the historic rodeo town of Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1989. Life sure seemed somewhat slower than it is today but it was fast enough that the tragic death of this young cowboy may have passed by without much attention unless you were built Ford tough into the rodeo arena.
You'll definitely have to be built Ford tough with some eternal thoughts of consequence to experience this last ride with Lane Frost. It took place "in the rain in the mud in July in Cheyenne" which are actual words from an inspirational song of tribute written and performed by Aaron Watson of Amarillo, Texas. If you tap on the song's title, you can enjoy Watson's masterpiece of a tribute but be sure and return for the rest of this story when your teardrops dry up a bit.
In the immortal words and voice of Paul Harvey, "now here's the Rest of the Story," as this tragic incident transpired at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, the world's largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration held annually since 1897 drawing near 200,000 people to Wyoming each year.
I personally remember hearing about it and thinking what a shame that a life so young had to be lost. A life that was only one year younger than mine at the time. Being familiar with rodeo but not deeply involved, the news was accepted with a profound shrug of just accepting things that happen. Ridin' bulls is a dangerous sport but the unexpected loss of life within the attempt of 8 Seconds on a mean and nasty energized animal remains just that, unexpected because it doesn't happen very often. My unscientific reasoning for this being there's not too many men brave enough to straddle a near ton of such vicious and unpredictable bull buckin' pandemonium.
As the twenty-eight (28) year mark of this tragic loss of life quietly rolled by this past summer, the rediscovery of its memory and what has continued in honor of it since then has made it much more important within my personal thought processing. Meeting a new friend a few weeks back while headin' west out of El Reno, Oklahoma, on the Mother Road (Route 66), I was given a "Cowboy Bible" by an eighty-two (82) year old gentleman by the name of Colonel Cliff Johnson. Mr. Johnson owns Old Cowboys Antiques there on Sunset Drive in El Reno where you can find some interesting old relics of the cowboy ways of life past.
Mr. Johnson and I struck up a good conversation about real country music and other similar interests. He was impressed that I knew who Hank Snow, Roy Clark, Patsy Cline, Porter Wagoner and Buck Owens were. With a genuine effort to save my soul within our brief visit, ole Mr. Johnson gave me a copy of this "Cowboy Bible." His giving didn't require I buy anything or pay for the book itself. Although, reflecting through our conversation, Mr. Johnson could tell I was more than likely a saved soul, he handed me this book without too much description and just said "pass it on if and when you run across someone who might benefit."
As I opened the book for a quick scan, I found a full version of the New Testament. Within the inside front cover, I discovered an interesting and heartfelt message from the parents of Lane Frost. They wrote "On October 12, 1963, our life was changed forever with the birth of our son Lane. On July 30, 1989, life changed forever for Lane. On that day he left this earth and entered his eternal home in heaven. You see, Lane had discovered that this world isn't all there is to life. We all have an eternal destiny. It may be an eternal life in hell or an eternal life in heaven. Lane chose a heavenly home by accepting Jesus as his personal Savior. This new testament has come into your hands with our prayer that you will make that choice also. Please read the rest of this page on how to accept Jesus." This personal message was signed "Sincerely" by Elsie and Clyde Frost.
Ole Mr. Johnson's approach was pretty much the same as the book's attempt at saving a soul. It was one of being a choice and not so much an attempt with religious contempt. He gave me a choice of taking the book and the book gives us choice of accepting its New Testament content which includes "There is only one way to heaven. It is through the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6). He Loves You…He turns no one away (John 3:16, John 6:37). However, He never forces Himself on anyone. He waits until you invite Him into your life. (Revelation 3:20). He says that we are all sinners–that we are separated from God by sin (Romans 3:23). But he willingly took our sin upon Himself when He died on the cross so that we might become God's children through Him (II Corinthians 5:21). Won't you come to Jesus? It is simple (II Corinthians 5:20). PRAY: 'Lord Jesus, I invite you into my heart and life. I thank you for dying for me. Forgive my sins and be both my Savior and my Lord. Thank you for giving me a new life in you.' Now turn to the book of John (page 103) and read it through."
If the unfortunate and untimely death of a young cowboy could save a life into eternity, it sure seems the spirit of Lane Frost remains willing to make such a sacrifice. This with one last ride while Takin' Care Of Business for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Author's Note: For those who desire to "Cowboy Up" and make a contribution to the Cowboy Bible Fund, send it directly to Lane Frost's home church at Lane Baptist Church, P.O. Box 37, Lane, Oklahoma, 74555.